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Just clinging on?

(56 Posts)
Giddygrandma1 Wed 08-Jan-20 23:34:39

New to this, so please be kind! Married over 40 years ago. Love of my life. Now, grumpy old man. Feel so naive. No parents alive to advise. Worked hard to make marriage work, brought up family to be happy, responsible adults, very little input financially or emotionally from OH, but he did keep a roof above our heads and we did have enough to eat. As soon as I could I too contributed financially. Retired now. He lots of hobby's, me still fitting in around him. Why are men so selfish? Your thoughts please?xxx

suzied Thu 09-Jan-20 05:58:42

Don’t let yourself be treated like a housekeeper- talk to him- do you go out together as a couple? Cinema? Theatre? Holidays? Why not get your own hobby or get out of the house with friends or family?

Liz46 Thu 09-Jan-20 06:23:32

Do you have your own friends? For instance I am going out for lunch today with a lady who I met at work about 40 years ago. Next week it will be lunch with friends I met at a differnt job about 30 years ago. Knit and natter group etc. Book club at the library. Have a think about it and make your own life busy and stop fitting in around him.

Does he take his turn at cooking dinner and cleaning?

Giddygrandma1 Thu 09-Jan-20 07:39:30

Thank you for taking the time to reply, Liz and Suzied, feeling much more positive this am. Of course it's up to me to make my own life work for me. Just having a wobble and wishing things were different, as we all do occasionally, I'm sure. Lovely to know there's a place where us girls can have a chat and get support, when needed!

frue Thu 09-Jan-20 09:38:21

Thanks for voicing frustrations very similar to my own. Going to join another exercise class so have something to do and be sociable at same time
Good Luck to us all

luluaugust Thu 09-Jan-20 09:38:39

It all sounds fairly normal, you just need to make sure you have your own interests and if they mean you are not always available to cook etc he will have to learn to adjust! Also perhaps a bit of organising to make sure you do something together each week. You could check it is only old man's grumpiness and not a particular worry. Good luck

vampirequeen Thu 09-Jan-20 09:40:13

All his life you've fitted around him because he had to work etc. He needs to realise that now he's retired he has no excuse. Its fair enough that he haIs hobbies etc but not at your expense. Are you able to join some clubs or just go out and have time to yourself? Slightly different scenario but when I was with ex I used to get up early every Sunday and drive to the coast, picking up the papers and a picnic on the way. I'd walk, read the papers and generally just have some me time. Is something like that a possibility?

Applegran Thu 09-Jan-20 09:43:18

The risk is that you, as a woman, fall into a pattern where you make space for your husband, support him in what he wants to do, and end up not looking after yourself or your own needs and wants - see the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". I guess it is still in print. It was a controversial book, with some objecting that it was full of stereotypes, but there is still some good material there. Fundamentally, I have learnt the hard way that you need to both be kind, fair and reasonable to your husband, AND be the same for yourself. "If I am not for myself - who will be? If I am not for others - what am I?" We need to be both things. I wish you well1

helgawills Thu 09-Jan-20 09:44:30

Do you know why he's grumpy when he has lots of hobbies? Is there maybe something you could do together? We bought a cheap wii console years ago, when my daughter was still here, it has lots of activities with it. We enjoy Sports Resort, where you can have a go at lots of activities, ie Bowling, Ping Pong, Golf, frisbee etc, single player or groups of players. Good for a laugh.
Do of course get out and find your own hobbies and friends, but it might be fun to try something a bit daft together.

NannyG123 Thu 09-Jan-20 09:47:12

Hi giddygrandma! I feel like you at times. But I do meet up a lot with different friends. I also volunteer one day a week, which a keeps me busy and happy. Have you told tot husband how you feel.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 09-Jan-20 09:49:45

Retirement and being together 24 hours a day is a big adjustment for both of you.

My husband fully retired 3 years ago, and I resented him being in "my home" during the day, it has taken time, patience and understanding from both of us. He came to realise how much time it takes to "run a house" and slowly started doing little things without me asking, and because I hadn't had to ask it meant so much more.

We have a general discussion usually over dinner Sunday or Monday morning to sort out if we have any plans separately or together, is there anything we need or want to do.

EllieB52 Thu 09-Jan-20 09:52:58

You could make a point by relaxing more and matching his lack of input! You may have to sit on your hands though. Perhaps you need to sit down with him on one of his less grumpy days and tell him how you feel. Maybe suggest if he wants a housekeeper maybe he should pay you a wage (tongue in cheek)!

My OH needs constant chivvying. I cook every evening and am pretty p****d off with it. I told him years ago that if he expects me to cook I expect him to at least do the washing up. He didn’t argue and does it (not the way I would prefer but I bite my tongue). I also expect him to empty the bins but he always waits until they are overflowing and then I have to remind him. It’s very difficult living with someone who isn’t pulling their weight or has lower standards.

Ydoc Thu 09-Jan-20 09:53:37

I too married 40 year, wouldn't say I was doing as well as clinging on. Husband retired at 52!!!!hes almost 67, he has no hobbies, no friends just watches TV all day and sleeps. It's feels as if he has died. There are jobs I can't do that need doing he says will do but never does. I do everything I possibly can but not really able to do the odd thing. Place could be falling down around him he wouldn't do a thing. Not sure what I'm going to do, I find it very depressing.

Fabulous50s Thu 09-Jan-20 09:54:42

Be grateful he has lots of hobbies!
Soul destroying being Entertainments Manager for an adult male. Get yourself organised and find things you like/learn to like doing. When you do spend time together you both bring things to “the table” to talk and laugh about.

Coconut Thu 09-Jan-20 09:55:01

I echo what others have said, you must make your own life and have your own interests as well as doing things together. It does many men good to be told “I’m going out, so sort your own dinner out” etc especially if he’s in a bad mood, and at times when he is in, ask him to run the hoover round etc it’s not our job to tread on egg shells around men’s wants and needs, and their grumpy moods ..... our wants are equally as important. Many men are still old dinosaurs and have been programmed as to what is and what isn’t “women’s work” .... he just needs a short sharp shock to re-program him 🤣

MarieEliza Thu 09-Jan-20 10:05:39

Try joining a choir, this may sound silly but it’s very uplifting and hubby might join too. Try a community choir where your ability is unimportant but new friendships are all important. When my OH retired it took us 12 months at least to readjust. I missed my own space and OH missed his work colleagues. We solved the problem by him joining rotary and me joining two choirs and doing volunteer work with refugees.

Beanie654321 Thu 09-Jan-20 10:11:22

Hi Giddygrandma join the university of the third age. You pay a yearly subscription which is nominal and can join any of the groups, it's a great way of meeting new friends with a shared interest and learn new skills and hobbies. Goggle it and get going. I'm married nearly 40 years and just retired, hubby still working. I've meet so many new friends with a common interest and I've also learnt so many new things. It's well worth it. As men get older they get more grumpy, it's in their nature, we just need to change to meet our needs. Good luck xxx

Guineagirl Thu 09-Jan-20 10:13:13

This seems a common theme on here. I’m the same. I now have my own friends that I met at my local coffee shop just be going in there for a few years and saying hello, they are now great friends of mine, I cycle a lot as well on my own. I don’t know how I’d feel without this. I think it’s good to do things together but I need me time too.

cangran Thu 09-Jan-20 10:16:02

I can relate to this topic too (51 years married)! My husband has always been involved in non-party political groups to the point of obsession. As it's not an interest I share to this degree, I used to resent it, wishing I was like women I saw who seemed to be having a much better life doing things with their husbands. When I was about 60 I decided that it is what it is and I could either leave or build a life for myself within the marriage. I beat myself up many times for not being 'brave enough' to leave but now I'm fine as I have security and do lots of things like lunches and theatre with friends, many of whom are single, and am so much happier than I was for many years. I still see some couples who seem joined at the hip but now don't envy them as I used to but rather think that it must be really hard if left a widow if you were used to doing everything together as a couple.

Cabbie21 Thu 09-Jan-20 10:26:48

At least your husband has hobbies. Mine has, but isn’t getting on with them, I don’t know why. He is able to do a bit of work from time to time and that is the only thing that interests him.

It is time for you to show him that you matter as a person. You are not his housekeeper. See if you can do something together, and lots of things on your own, and don’t make it too easy for him eg leave him to sort his own meals if you are not there.

I keep meaning to have a conversation with my DH about expectations. There are things we each expect the other to do because that is the way it’s always been, but times change, needs change, and we need to reassess. Eg I do voluntary work two days a week and I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that he will prep the veg before I get home at 5pm without being reminded, and get the bins out.
So change your ways, and have a chat about adjustments to be made. Good luck!

Phloembundle Thu 09-Jan-20 10:33:42

I realised at the tender age of 17 that men, with few exceptions are totally selfish, so never married and have not regretted one moment. Looking from the outside, I see that your men are how you have allowed them to be. Grow some metaphorical balls and remind them that this is a partnership and as such, should benefit both parties. Sit your man down, ask him what is wrong and try to work out a way you can both be fulfilled for what remains of your lives. If he won't talk, walk. Simplistic I know, but there seem to be so many women living out there remaining years in quiet misery.

morethan2 Thu 09-Jan-20 10:34:14

Do you talk? will he listen? I think those two things are perhaps the most important things in a long marriage along with letting go of old resentments. In away I could have written your post. A few years ago on a nice walk I bought up the subject of how we would face the future together now. Basically I said to him “it’s just you and me, us against the world now and we have to make the best of what we’ve got “ I think it was a turning point. That conversation led to a better understanding of each other. He still has hobby that I’m more than happy to leave him to it and encourage him in and visa versa. I think in a way I’ve lowered my expectations of him and taking away that pressure has helped my husband to open up and in turn become more confident making us both more tolerant and happier. I’m not saying it’s plain sailing all the time but we’re happier now than we’ve ever been and it’s such a comfort to know someone has got your back. I hope you can work things out, you deserve to be happy and content after trying so hard and from reading between the lines succeeding in bring up a family.

okimherenow Thu 09-Jan-20 10:36:29

If you can drive and get yourself places why not join or offer help to local charities or village hall or a choir(good voice not needed) ramblers club local council walking group.. List IS endless and who knows till you choose what you'd enjoy.
The biggest obstacle is you deciding and taking the first step..
Jolly good luck.. Go on.. Do it.

Bbbface Thu 09-Jan-20 10:41:26

Sounds like you’re jealous that he has lots of hobbies and you don’t.

If he’s actually forbidding you from taking up a hobby - that’s a problem. But if it is just the case that you want what he has - then it’s you that needs to change.

freyja Thu 09-Jan-20 11:05:45

I am too in the same boat. My DH was 70 on Sunday spent the weekend with family at home because he didn't want to do something for his birthday in the Summer. Christmas holidays I was mostly alone as family were busy. DH was either asleep or drinking beer and watching TV. He hasn't 'retired' yet so on a work day he scuttles off to his office usually straight from bed, so not even a 'Good morning' is uttered.
After 46 years I suddenly find myself with nothing to do and no one to talk too. Can't believe we stayed together this long if we have never had a conversation but it's only now you realise that life, work and children took over the marriage. Now that's all gone there's nothing but a real empty nest.

I have voiced my concerns with DH, about his lack of interest in me or anything I do but his reply was 'I was being silly'. So nothing has changed or is likely to change. It made me realise that if I did not change, I would go mad. So the housekeeping fairy cleans his (our) house, cook his (our) food, wash his (our) clothes etc as per normal, then I am out of here for the rest of the day.

I joined the U3a, meet new people, go swimming, joined the gym. My philosophy is 'It's your time to shine'. Do you own thing and do not rely on others to entertain you. If you don't do it day, it maybe too late tomorrow.